Our adventures

5-day Sailing Adventure Tour on the Arctic Outpost Svalbard

Learn to sail on the famous SV Linden and explore Arctic Svalbard up close and personal.

Join us on the three-masted schooner Linden for a five day sailing adventure in the pristine Arctic wilderness on Svalbard. Every Monday, from June 3rd to September 14th, this tour leaves port from Longyearbyen to discover the cold glacier coasts of Spitsbergen. This is an excellent way to combine Arctic adventure with sailing, we take you to the hidden gems of the west coast of Svalbard. As the breeze goes from gentle to moderate and strong we watch the sails fill into three dimensional curved airfoils. Some of us are sitting comfortably with a book in hand and others exhilarating at the top of the mast rigging sails. The choice is yours.

We navigate through wildlife hotspots, but as always luck comes with hard work. Along the way we keep our eyes and ears open to find the best wildlife viewings, as the migratory pattern changes throughout the season and even the day. Over the last years more whales are visiting Svalbard, so we might even see the 200 ton blue whales gliding in the water, where the sound of the blow takes your breath away.

Many of us have the Big Five of Svalbard on our bucket list. Therefore keep scanning to spot the Polar Bear, Walrus, Arctic Fox, Svalbard Reindeer and Ivory gull. We are always considering the wildlife opportunities and the weather conditions when making decisions of where to sail. South or north? Who knows in what fjord we will wake up next morning!

On this adventure you will experience:

  • Sailing for five days on SV Linden.
  • Observe Arctic wildlife.
  • Hike across Polar tundra (Arctic Desert).
  • Learn about and observe glaciers.
  • Visit Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel for a small hike, dinner and a sauna!

Please email us directly at [email protected] if you would like to book this trip with us. 

 

DIFFICULTY           

Level 1 out of 5. Please read more about our level of difficulty here. A minimum age of 10 years old for this trip.

WHAT TO BRING?

Have a look at the full equipment list by clicking "Equipment list" in the menu above.  Check out our equipment video here. This is a video made for our hiking tours in the summer, and the weather so far north can shift drastically. Make sure you are prepared for any weather our Arctic can throw at you!

ACCOMMODATION

You will stay on board SV Linden.

BAGGAGE

There is no weight limit, other then what your airline has imposed, but, as the group and luggage will all have to fit into our means of transportation, we do ask you not to bring more than one main item of baggage and one daysack. You will only have to carry your daysack on this trip.

FOOD

You will be served traditional Norwegian breakfast, lunch and dinner. Vegetarian food available upon request. 

INSURANCE 

You need a travel and health insurance, that also includes transportation back to your country. Remember to bring your insurance card/information. 

LANGUAGES         

The guide speaks English.

CHANGES MAY OCCUR

We reserve the right to make changes to the program, and the price. The day to day program is indicative, and changes may occur. Please have a look at our terms and conditions

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS              

Minimum: 5 people; Maximum: 8 people.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?          

  • Professional nature guide.
  • Activities listed.
  • Accommodation.
  • Breakfast, packed lunch, and three-course dinner.
  • Local transportation on the tour.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • International transportation
  • Transportation in and out of Longyearbyen
  • Drinks and snacks.

Day 1: Meet SV Linden

Meet your guide at 15:00 at Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen who will take you to our wooden 3-mast Schooner Linden. If you have extra luggage, you can leave this in the luggage storage at the Basecamp hotel. We will gather in the ship lounge for some snacks and a safety briefing. This is a good time to get to know the staff and your fellow voyagers. Checking the last ice charts and the weather, your Captain and Expedition Leader will finalize our route. If the wind is favorable it’s time to hoist the sails and head into the pristine arctic waters!

Our crew can’t wait to teach you the sailing skills and show you how elegantly Linden can sail. With the help of our professional team, you can become a true seaman yourself! Linden is made for the Arctic waters with her ice-strengthened hull. The midnight sun sits high in the sky as we gather for the captain’s welcome dinner as we continue to sail towards our next destination. And you should get used to it. The sun will not set at all during the summer months.

After dinner a non-stop noise from the towering bird cliff greets us and we head ashore. Thousands of female Brünnich’s Guillemots are to lay a single egg each on the narrow cliff ledges above us, and these big black and white auks busy around and fill the air. As we hike across the tundra we need to watch out as the Arctic skuas don’t want us near their nests. The Svalbard reindeer is rather interested in getting a closer look at us. With a bit of luck on our side, we may find the Arctic fox foraging for bird eggs below the cliffs.

 
 
Accommodation SV Linden Meals D

Day 2: Glaciers

On Tuesday morning we wake up surrounded by wild landscape and glimmering glaciers. Our excursion is all about frozen rivers of ice. First, the surreal scene appears silent, but you will discover there is a constant fizz, snap and pop of melting ice releasing trapped air bubbles. Millions upon millions of bubbles are continually released as the glacier melts away underneath the ocean surface. And then it happens. The glacier calves in front of us with loud roars and tumbles down into the ocean.

We enjoy lunch as we watch the frozen landscape around us. Less than 7% of the land has any vegetation at all in Svalbard. We take a close look at the surroundings as we head ashore. From a distance the land looks immensely barren but stepping onto a thin layer of thawed permafrost, shining specks of flowers appear. As we savor dinner we head to our next destination and watch the continuous mountains and shores without any roads, buildings or infrastructure. This is what makes Svalbard a unique wildlife spot in the world. We are in the Arctic kingdom where polar bears rule on land and sea-ice.

 
 
Accommodation SV Linden Meals B L D

Day 3: hiking on the desert tundra

Waking up surrounded by sediment slopes and pointy peaks we continue to search for wildlife and good hiking possibilities. Weather permitting, we hike across the tundra and the polar deserts. Along the way, we find time to sit down and listen to the Arctic silence. It’s a marvelous sound of nothingness. On our hikes, we may also catch sight of the only bird overwintering in Svalbard, the well-feathered ptarmigan. Born a carnivore, the chicks eat insects while their vegetarian parents forage for plants and seeds. Our chef will serve us another great meal as we sail to our next destination.

In the afternoon we explore glaciers fronts plunging down into the sea. There might be seals in the water or hauled up on the ice and if you keep your eyes closely on the water you might see flashes of white passing by. In Svalbard, there are often groups of white Beluga whales patrolling in front of glaciers, where the prey is easier to catch being slightly dizzy in the altered salt content of the seawater mixed with fresh water from the ice.

 
 
Accommodation SV Linden Meals B L D Time 3 hrs hiking

Day 4: Arctic beaches

On Thursday we wake up within reach of beaches where tusked walrus may haul out. And we’ll pay a visit to see if they are home. Will our search for this bewhiskered beast pay off? It’s never possible to know for sure beforehand, but walrus don’t like wind or fog as it makes it easier for polar bears to approach and attack. So for once, we are hoping for less wind! After 60 years of protection, the numbers of walrus are finally rising in Svalbard. If the walrus is out, their beach is an excellent location to go beachcombing. Scour the beach for timbers from ancient shipwrecks and other treasures!

After lunch, we find ourselves next to Basecamp’s outpost, Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. Indulge in unexpected luxury and genuine hospitality at this old radio station packed with history. Just like the former station manager hosted and served the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, Isfjord Radio’s own Michelin star trained chef will prepare and serve us a treat. If you like, join one of your guides for a 2-3 hour hike around the station and the surroundings. After the walk, you can enjoy the new scenery sauna at the Isfjord Radio – what a way to finish a hike! Bordering Isfjord Radio is a bird sanctuary, providing new opportunities to spot that Arctic fox egg and bird hunting! Step back on board Linden for evening drinks and the Captain’s farewell dinner.

 
 
Accommodation SV Linden Meals B L D

Day 5: Say goodbye

On our last day we sail back to civilization. Enjoy breakfast on the ship before you head back to Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world. Even when closing the settlement, keep your eyes for white flashes of up to 4,5 meters of lean blubber crossing our paths. There can be groups of white beluga whales in the fjord as we get close to Longyearbyen to drop you off!

Accommodation SV Linden Meals B

Take a good look at this list, and make sure you bring everything you need. We encourage you to use what you have for this trip, and purchase items if youre missing something important on the list below. We have divided the gear list into three categories:

1) Required: If you do not own this gear, you must acquire it for your trip. 

2) Recommended: Gear we suggest to be comfortable, but it is not imperative.

3) Optional: Fun, additional luxuries.  

Layering is extremely important in a variable climate like Norway. This list will guide you through the essentials. Remember the Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad gear", and prepare appropriately for any weather. You can read about weather where youre traveling here.

The video below is for SUMMER gear, despite the snow in the background. Welcome to Norway!

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

We always recommend wool in the Norwegian Mountains, but if you already have synthetic layers and don't want to buy new ones, synthetic is okay. 

 

REQUIRED:

BASE LAYER

Wool long-sleeved top and bottom.

MID-LAYER A medium thickness wool or fleece top.

INSULATED JACKET

A warm jacket for breaks and before after hiking. We recommend a puffy jacket with down or synthetic. Something equivalant in warmth is also okay.

SHELL / RAIN JACKET

Gore-Tex or similar is mandatory. Extrememly important in Norwegian climate. The jacket must be waterproof, have a hood, and make sure you don’t get wet even if it rains all day. We recommend jackets with pit zips for ventilation. 

HIKING PANTS

Hiking pants comfortable for all day wear. Should fit your long underwear beneathe and fit under your rain shell pants if you choose to bring some. Zip off into shorts or an additional pair of shorts is option. 

HIKING SHIRT

Bring 1-2 shirts for daily hiking. 

GLOVES / MITTENS

1 thin pair of gloves to protect your hands. 1 pair of over mittens for additional warmth.

HATS

1 sun hat, 1 warm hat.

HIKING SOCKS

2-4 pairs, we recommend wool, above the ankle, in your preferred thickness. If your footwear is not waterproof consider a gortex sock option.

HIKING SHOES

Bring footwear you know fits you and is comfortable. Trails can be wet and rocky. We recommend waterproof hiking boots. 

BACKPACK

Daypack for warm layers, food, snacks, water and needed items. 20-40 liters.

SUNGLASSES

UV rated, we recommend a strap to keep them in place and so they don't get lost.

SUNSCREEN / CHAPSTICK

Make sure the Chapstick has UV rated sunscreen in it. 

WATER BOTTLE / CAMELBACK

2 liter capacity. 

TOILETRIES

Personal basics: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc...

PERSONAL MEDICATIONS

Make sure you bring any personal meds you need on your trip, and ensure the Hvitserk office is updated on your allergies or needs. 

 

RECOMMENDED:

WOOL UNDERWEAR

We highly recommend bringing wool underwear and bra for hiking. No cotton.

WATERPROOF SHELL PANTS

We recommend having a water proof layer for your legs in case the weather is cold and rainy. You will enjoy the hiking more when warm and comfortable.

SCARF OR BUFF

A layer to protect your neck or face. 

THERMOS

We recommend a thermos for hot drinks to have with you all day.

SWIMWEAR

A bathing suit and small towel if you would like to swim, hottub or sauna depending on your trip. 

TREKKING POLES

Most guests prefer hiking with poles. Helps with challenging terrain and to maintain energy over long days. 

HEADLAMP

Important item to always have in your pack. Emergency back up and useful for long days. 

FIRST AID KIT

If you have certain hiking aids specific to you: i.e. blister care or ibuprofen, etc...

CAMERA

Its important to be present while hiking, but also a great joy to bring some snapshots home with you for memory lane. 

CASUAL CLOTHES

A reminder to bring a set of clothes for transfers, relaxing in the evenings, and non-hiking time. An extra, dry pair of shoes is recommended for after and before hiking.

 

OPTIONAL:

ANTIBAC

If you need it for the bathroom or lunch. 

WET WIPE OR TOILET PAPER

If you have a bathroom emergency while hiking. We use "pack it in pack it out" ethics, so you will need to carry out your used items and throw them away later.

EAR PLUGS

If youre a light sleeper.

JOURNAL

 In order to take notes and write about the trip.

SNACKS

Chocolate, nuts or energy bars if there is something particular you enjoy eating. You will have the opportunity to buy snacks on your trip.

SLEEPING MASK

To cover your eyes when sleeping in 24 hour light. You can aslo use your buff.

Bed linens and towels are included all nights.